IBM Research Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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370 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Software Administrative Analyst/ Project Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Administrative Analyst/Project Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Software Administrative Analyst/Project Manager in San Jose, CA

    I worked at IBM Research

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    It was a great place to work and grown. I gamed lots of experience and got to meet very nice people. I loved the new challenges that came with the territory. I was never board because they was always new things to learn all the time.

    Cons

    They laid off when times get hard instead of reducing the entire team time and hours.

    Advice to Management

    They should look at ways to keep all employees on board instead of laying off as soon as the stock drops below expectations.


  2. PhD Intern

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at IBM Research

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Lots of independence to work on cool projects

    Cons

    Politics
    Lack of long term vision


  3. Helpful (2)

    Great people, but not the company it used to be

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Seriously wonderful people and a vibrant community. I've always loved that if you run into a problem or have a question about something, reaching out and finding expertise is easy.

    Cons

    Over the years, the focus on providing customer value has been lost. Sadly, IBM seems to be chasing this quarter's numbers over and over again rather than building sustaining value.

    Advice to Management

    Flatten the management chain. There are way to many level between the average employee and the CEO. The best jobs I had in IBM were the ones where I was only 4 or 5 levels from the CEO. Now, I'm something like 7-8.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    How times have changed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work life balance. Management will accommodate you for your family need. Many years back, my wife suffered from a rare chronicle decease and required hospitalization and then home care. My manager basically allowed me working from home (and hospital) all the time while she we being treated and recovering from the illness. I really appreciate that. Furthermore, the base pay is very competitive here at IBM Research, although bonus is almost non-existent nowadays. Working atmosphere is very friendly and people are mostly nice and cooperative. If you are a female and at a child bearing age, IBM in general is very accommodating, even more so in IBM Research.

    Cons

    IBM as it is now is the antithesis of successful start-ups and their even more successful descendants (the like of Google, Facebook etc.) There is a lack of youthful energy here. More of us endeavor to try to save (or change depending who you talk to) the dying business model and only a few have the luxury of being given the space to be truly innovative. There is a great brain drain going on. Really smart people are quitting left and right to go the the aforementioned companies. For many of us, we are "Research" in name only. Sure we have the great "Watson" fame, but most of us toil on old IBM technologies and try to squeeze out one more drop of competitiveness out of the outdated systems and tools.
    While things here are going downhill slow motion style, the rank and file bear the most pains. We are supposed to "innovate" as managers consistently demand of us while themselves mostly doing pointless meetings and power-pointing. Yet our accomplishment is mostly determined by how much direct business impact our work creates. With this conflicting goals, we are really caught between a rock and a hard place. Unless you are a super star that can really balance the two, most of us just submit to the fact that our management can at any time put all the blame on us one way or the other, with nothing sticking to them.
    In general, I had my good times here. But this is the sad time now. Stay away.

    Advice to Management

    When the ship is going down, don't lock those of us who are going the real work in the cellar cabins and maybe we can help you save the ship from sinking.


  6. Working at IBM Research

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people! Very smart and inquisitive. Good cafeteria. Walking paths, nice campus. Interesting projects; part of a worldwide network.

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy, limited budgets, excessive reporting. Management pressure increases every year.

    Advice to Management

    Do more basic research. Develop more ideas into products.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Great CEO, great people, and the worst senior management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at IBM Research

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great CEO (positive, relatively transparent, trying hard), great people (smart, want to do great things)

    Cons

    Senior management is the absolute worst (incompetent technically, incompetent business leaders, the only thing they know is what they know and what they've always known for the last 20 years)

    Advice to Management

    You need to leave


  8. Great Company to Work For

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Austin, TX

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Access to the best people in Information Technology & Telecom

    Cons

    Offices are very boring in nature


  9. Helpful (2)

    Ship capsizing in muck of poor morale

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Yorktown, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting projects, freedom to explore, nice colleagues, well-meaning management, flexible work schedule

    Cons

    Fixation around short term earnings has resulted in an anorexia, where the company is starving its' employees and customers in favor of gorging it's shareholders. The impact has been a finance driven company that is losing its core strength in engineering and innovation, as current talent leaves, and new talent is staying away. Although there are many talented and potentially dedicated employees (including managers) remaining, there's a pervasive sense that the company has pivoted away from nurturing talent and caring for its employees. As a result morale is generally very low, as employees feel stupid giving their all to a company that has elected not to reciprocate. Although this dynamic is widely recognized in the company, by not directly communicating about and addressing these issues, senior management seems to have abandoned the ship.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate openly and directly about the morale issues, and Redirect company from focusing first on EPS to focusing first on customers and employee talent and well-being. Growth and earnings should be a side-effect of customer satisfaction, technical innovation, and employee engagement. Strive to complete with the best of breed - Google, Facebook, etc ... on employee compensation, benefits, work environment, ownership, etc.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Lots of smart people, relevance and impact of research to company seems to be declining

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I have been working at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If you are in a group that is established in a relevant research area you can contribute to the field and have an opportunity to grow skills in that area. Some areas can contribute to products or interesting client facing engagements.

    Cons

    Very hard to move internally. Many areas fall behind or don't move as fast as technology in the environment outside IBM and skill sets become out of date. Path to transfer work to products is slow. Development of new technology for the company and new talent comes mostly through acquisition of other companies.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Great company spiralled into ordinary company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY
    Former Employee - Research Staff Member in Yorktown Heights, NY

    I worked at IBM Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Reasonable but not outstanding salary
    Flexible hours

    Cons

    Extremely weak managers
    Forced ranking system
    Constant resource actions
    Bloated bureacracy

    Advice to Management

    Value the employees you hire throughout the entire business cycle



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